Michael Trapido
Michael Trapido

Because you’re all criminals

Criminal attorneys will confirm that the question that they are most asked by the general public is: “How can you defend criminals?” It’s not that hard to answer because all of you are criminals. Yes, even you.

A criminal, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is “A person who has committed a crime”. In other words an offence which has been committed against the State or an indivdual. What you do when you crib on your tax, exceed the speed limit, fail to pay a television or dog licence or any of the millions of other laws and regulations imposed on society.

Of course you lot don’t mean those crimes you mean real crimes like rape or murder, that sort of thing. Until you arrive at my office having had a few drinks at an office party and killed a child who ran across the road while you were three times over the legal blood-alcohol limit.

Then it’s a case of: I didn’t mean to have so many drinks and that child was at fault for running across the road. I’m not really a criminal, it’s not as though I jumped out of a bush and raped someone, on purpose. It was an accident.

Of course the fact that your reactions after just one beer are that much slower, which in the ordinary course may well have saved that child’s life and the law is going to convict you for culpable homicide does not deter you from believing that you are not a real criminal.

No what you did was an accident, a real criminal does things on purpose.

That is the selective morality I am seeing when it comes to politics as well, why I get lambasted for defending the people of Alexandra, Diepsloot and Soweto against charges of xenophobia and for placing the factors mitigating their conduct before the public.

Listening to some geniuses from the more affluent communities telling me that nothing justifies their conduct. (In terms of violence I agree nothing justifies that conduct). Yet these are the same geniuses who have an apoplexy if the electricity doesn’t work. I wonder how these same “humanitarians” would react to waking up to find that during the night five shacks had been built outside their plush home.

Don’t tell me, I’ll tell you. They’ll be swearing at the police for not getting there in 10 minutes and shouting at their lawyers because they couldn’t get the matter on the urgent roll before 10h00 on the same day.

You see just as in the case of real crimes, we get real suffering. (Don’t let me catch blacks sniggering at whites or vice versa — this is a haves vs have nots at play. You are all just as capable of this conduct. Yes, you). When it’s my house, it’s a real problem if it’s not, how dare those people from Alexandra be angry?

The same applied when I spoke out against generalising about the Afrikaans community because of isolated incidents. On a day to day basis the Afrikaans community plays a vital and positive role in the development of South Africa. In other words don’t colour every action by an individual as if it is proof of racism by the whole community.

Just as it is wrong to slam every crime where a white is a victim as racist. As our magistrates are fond of saying “Crime are preffelant”.

Which brings me to this disgusting homophobia in Gambia.

If you go through this blog, you will see I have defended attacks against the Jewish community, slammed Islamophobia, homophobia and any other form of prejudice including racism and xenophobia.

The reason I do it is because prejudice is wrong and allowing it to continue, particularly where it is sanctioned by a State, is a very dangerous road to travel.

While Africa has stood united against xenophobia, I would expect the same level of outrage to be expressed against those individuals or leaders who promote hatred against the gay and lesbian communities.

And don’t let me hear that xenophobia is a real crime while homophobia based upon some religious or moral basis is justified.

Because just like crime, racism and everything else, sooner rather than later you will come to realise that by justifying prejudice and bigotary you opens doors you’d much rather keep closed, locked and post a security guard in front of.

The only problem is that that will be the day when you are the victim rather than the perpetrator or bystander of prejudice.

Shocked that people could really hate you just for being you.

Think about it.